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May 11, 2003 Fourth Sunday of Easter
Catholic Homilies
May 11, 2003 A.D.

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4th Sunday of Easter John 10:11-18

Background: 10:11-18

This selection from the shepherd imagery in John’s gospel follows on Jesus’ condemnation of the bad shepherding of many religious leaders and his reference to himself as the sheep gate, offering safety to any who enter through him. John writes, familiar with the image about irresponsible shepherds in Ezekiel, an image his audience would know. Jesus, however, is the Good Shepherd, just as God became the saving shepherd in Ezekiel’s time. As the Good Shepherd, Jesus promises to be faithful to his sheep, willing to lay down his life for those he knows and who know him. As usual his audience is divided in its reaction to him.

Today is Mother’s Day in the United States. In many churches, a mother from the congregation is asked to reflect on her experience of motherhood. Unfortunately, this practice often leads to increased anguish for the childless women in the congregation -- those who are unmarried –and would like to be married—and those who are having difficulty becoming mothers. I suggest that instead of reflecting on the experience of motherhood, the celebrant, or the woman reflector, speak of the experience, shared by all in the congregation, of being mothered



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00spc.gif (820 bytes) Story: God is Love. God is our father; but God is also our mother; A mother’s love is a blessing.

Once upon a time, not so very long ago, there was a mother who was widowed when her youngest child was 13 years old, just beginning her last year of grammar school. The mother, who had lost her own mother when she was that same age, resolved to maintain an upbeat attitude so as not to spoil the many events that took place for the eight graders. The mom was very stoic, not letting her daughter see her crying or feeling sorry for herself. She shopped with her daughter for party dresses and shoes. She chaperoned the two eight grade “dances” – one put on by the students themselves at an off campus site and, the other, the annual Altar Society’s dinner party. If she cried during any of these events, she hid her tears from her daughter.  But, on graduation day, as the daughter was walking back from receiving her diploma, she noticed her mother crying. With a lack of sensitivity not all that uncommon in an eighth grader, she wondered why her mother was crying. Years later, on a Mother’s Day, as she reflected on her mother’s love, she understood what she didn’t realize when the tears were flowing. Her mother’s tears were a blessing. If God is also our mother and loves us as this mother loved her daughter, than we can know something about God’s wish that we experience the joys of life as a gift. The flowing tears were a roadmap back to an appreciation of the depth of Divine Love.

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The flowing tears were a roadmap back to an appreciation of the depth of Divine Love
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